Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Boston Red Sox

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 11, Red Sox 0: Not the best 22 hours or so for the Red Sox. After Wednesday night’s marathon they come in bleary-eyed and get utterly shellacked by the Halos. Eight runs on ten hits in four innings for John Lackey who, to be honest, should have been the best rested of all of the Red Sox given that he was probably sent home early the night before.  Speaking of rest: I almost wonder if the road team has an advantage bouncing back for a day game 11 hours after the night game ended. Since they don’t have a drive and are staying at an in-town hotel instead of their suburban mansions — and since they don’t have family with them who they want to see in the morning — I’m guessing it’s a shorter time from the ballpark to head-on-the pillow for the visitors, and I bet they got more sleep.

Tigers 6, Yankees 3: Know what I really don’t want to hear much more of? “What will they do about Derek Jeter” talk. Because here’s what they can do: nothing. They give him a day off here and there and each time Eduardo Nunez comes in and throws the ball all over the place. I guess he hits a little, but the fact is that Jeter doesn’t have an heir at short. He’s not getting moved any time soon. The talk about moving him up and down the lineup seems like deck chairs on the Titanic stuff. Eduardo Nunez. Ick.  Three out of four for the Tigers who, at times anyway, look like the only team who even remotely has it in them to make a run at Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Yankees’ lead over Tampa Bay is down to one game.

Reds 10, Astros 4: Homer Bailey returns from the DL and looks good: six innings, four hits, a run and seven strikeouts. Jay Bruce is heating up too (3 for 4, HR 3 runs).

Cardinals 6, Marlins 3: It’s not often you see Josh Johnson get beat up, but the Cardinals did it. Four runs batted in for Lance Berkman, including three on a tie-breaking home run in the eighth. Colby Rasmus, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday all had nice days too.  Those four in the middle of the lineup can do some damage.

Indians 4, Athletics 3: Oakland had a ton of chances here, stranding runners in scoring position in extra innings twice and leaving a bunch of other guys on base.  The Indians, however, got the hits when it mattered with 12th inning RBI singles from Jack Hannahan and Lou Marson.  The Tribe is 21-9, matching their best start in franchise history. They’ve done that a few times, actually. One notable time: 1948. Which, if you’re an Indians fan, should mean something to you.

Mets 5, Giants 2: Mike Pelfrey helps the Mets avoid a sweep, allowing one earned run (and another unearned) on four hits in seven and two-thirds. Don’t get too excited, though, Mets fans. This was a very getaway day lineup for the Giants. Oh, and this is fun: K-Rod allowed three baserunners but none scored. He’s been doing a lot of that recently, giving him a strange looking 1.35 ERA but a 1.88 WHIP.

Royals 9, Orioles 1: Melky Cabrera went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI and a walk. Bruce Chen allowed one run on five hits over seven. And most significantly of all: the Royals called up Eric Hosmer after the game.

Rays 3, Blues Jays 1: David Price was rough stuff, striking out ten in eight innings. Johnny Damon got his 2,600th career hit.

Braves 2, Brewers 1: Brandon Beachy continues to impress (6 IP, 0 ER, 9K) as he makes homers from Martin Prado and Eric Hinske hold up.

Phillies 7, Nationals 3: Philly jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Yeah, I think that was enough for Roy Halladay, who struck out 10 in seven innings.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: Justin Smoak’s hot streak continues with a home run against his former club. Since coming back to the team after the death of his father he is batting .353 with three homers, four doubles and 13 RBI.  The Mariners are 7-2 during that stretch.

Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 2: Down 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Arizona rallied for two runs off Huston Street. In the bottom of the 11th Justin Upton singled home Chris Young. The Diamondbacks finish a pretty respectable homestand in which they took two of three from the Rockies and Phillies and split four with the Cubs.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.